After examining your intentions, you have decided to find that old friend or family member. You are aware that the experience is likely to be an emotional one so you have decided to employ an experienced investigator or to act as a go-between in your initial dealings with the person you are looking for. You hope that this will help to make your first contact a happy one that will lead to a renewed relationship.
You should first consider why this person is missing from your life. Is it because of an adoption? It may be that your birth parents have remarried and have further children, or maybe they have other problems that have made it impossible to perform as parents. Was there a family feud? It is likely that they still have raw feelings of sadness or anger. Are you missing a long lost family member or mate? Consider why you lost touch, what the person may be doing now and if you would be welcome or a disturbing presence in their life. You also need to prepare yourself to handle the reaction you get when they find out you want to get in touch with them.
Depending on your unique circumstances, having a reunion with a long lost person can be emotional and even traumatic. Prepare for a possible reunion by letting go of any personal expectations and fantasies before they can harm the new relationship. If you keep it pleasant and light, you can avoid frightening or alienating the person you want to contact. By enlisting the services of an investigator and genealogist to assist you with locating someone, they will also be available to act as a mediator during the critical initial contacts with that long lost person.
It is important to consider that no matter how cautiously you approach contacting a person you located, just the mention of your name could make them nervous. Using a mediator as a go-between gives the person you wish to reunite with a chance to absorb the concept that you are looking for them. After all, just hearing about you could stir up a plethora of emotions and memories for the person. Furthermore, the person may want to discuss the possibility of meeting you with their family and friends before responding to your inquiry and re-establishing contact.
Another benefit of using a mediator is that the investigator’s address and telephone number can be used as non-threatening preliminary means of contact. By using a mediator, you protect everyone’s privacy and afford the person you are searching for the opportunity to consider and prepare for a possible reunion. If all initial contacts go smoothly, you all may decide to share personal contact information and take it from there on your own. Remember to take it slow, not expect too much at first and consider meeting at a neutral location where everyone will feel comfortable.
Mediators have been trained in the necessary skills to effectively locate someone and make the initial contact with tact and sensitivity. The very fact that you are involved in the situation can make getting in touch very difficult and emotional. A mediator, although sensitive to everyone’s needs, is also an impartial, experienced professional who knows how to properly approach reunion situations. An outsider acting as a go-between can make things go smoothly by communicating with both parties in a diplomatic fashion. On the other hand, a mediator can also communicate to you if it is better to refrain from contacting someone and the reasons why.
For a reunion to be successful both people need to be patient and forgiving. A great deal of time and effort can go into locating someone and setting up that first meeting effectively. A professional go-between can make the difficult process of reunion easier for all. A go-between because of their skill and experience may be able to set up a meeting that would otherwise have been refused. An dispationate outsider can make all the difference and help create the possibility of a positive meeting.